For a year or so, I have been in favour of using a good projector in place of an expensive, large screen television. My argument has been that most of the new projectors are cheaper, have all the input options you need and can be much larger than any televisions for the home, well almost. The new EH-TW8200 from Epson has sort of reinforced my view. Here are four reasons why.
THE PICTURE QUALITY IS SUPERB: This projector comes with Lamp Boost Technology that lets you project the images even on a biscuit coloured wall in your home and still enjoy a movie as you would in a theatre. Yes, I have a biscuit coloured wall in the living and that too full of art work by my two-year-old. But let me tell you, I still loved watching BluRay version of the Platoon on it. The colours were great, so was the kind of details. I hate running projectors in rooms with ambient light, but the 2,400 lumens lamp can let you do this. I wouldn’t recommend this though. Not because you won’t be able to enjoy the images, but because you will really love the high contrast when you switch off the light. So keep the room dark for the best I effects. Plus, there is a super resolution buttons that lets you get the best picture depending on the size of the projection.
THE 3D WORKS: We are still a couple of years away when it comes to perfection in 3D entertainment at the home. There are some TV models that are really good with it, but they cost a bomb. This Epson projector is compatible with most 3D formats and you will enjoy the experience if your source is a BluRay player running a 3D version of a movie. In the box is a single RF 3D glass that makes this a pleasurable experience for one person in the house. You can run 3D files from a PC too using the HDMI cable, but not all the files worked for us. Still, when it worked the 3D had decent throw and great depth, even while converting from 2D. You will need to spend more to get additional glasses for everyone in the house. Anyway, like with televisions, I would suggest that you don’t look at 3D as the big differentiator, but as an added advantage.
IT IS EASY TO USE: The EH-TW8200 has every possible source option you will need to let this power a home theatre set up. It will also seamlessly link to a sound system. There is no USB port, but then you are not going to keep this on a table where you can keep plugging in a USB. This is a large device and will need to be wall or ceiling mounted for best effects. But the optical lens shift lets you move the image vertically and horizontally to where you need it. Since there are two HDMI ports you can keep this connected to a Set-Top-Box and BluRay player at the same time. There is a superb remote with the project. I call it superb because it has a backlight button, which is very thoughtful considering you will be fumbling for buttons in the dark. You will need the remote to access the many controls and tweaks this device offers. The menu notifications are easy to navigate, but you need to click Esc to get rid of this. This can be a bit irritating.
IT IS CHEAPER: Well, sort of. There are many projectors that will let me make this statement with a lot of conviction. But with this model I need to make this term relative. Yes, this is cheaper than most TVs when you consider the size of the image. Let us say at Rs 2,54,999, this costs a fraction of what 70-inch screen will. This can throw an image much larger than that if required. So there is a cost advantage, though there is no doubt that this is a premium product.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT? EH-TW8200. Yes, if you have a hall large enough to make full use of this projector. Yes, if you are serious about 3D content.
Specs: RGB liquid crystal shutter projection system, 1080p, 2.1x zoom, Throw Ratio 1.34 – 2.87, 4,000 hours lamp life, 600,000:1 contrast ration, 334W power consumption, 8.4kg
Price: Rs 2,54,999